WFP Says 100,000 in Syria Flee Turkish Offensive

Voice of America


The Globe Meals System says additional than 100,000 persons have been displaced so far by the Turkish invasion of northern Syria.

The agency stated these displaced have come from the towns of Ras al-Ayn and Tal Abyad.

Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces deny that Turkish forces have taken the border town of Ras al-Ayn as Turkey had claimed.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the civilian death toll resulting from Turkey’s offensive has risen to 30.

Ankara launched the cross-border operation on Wednesday, saying it desires to clear a buffer zone in northern Syria of Syrian Kurdish forces, whom it sees as terrorist allies of Kurdish separatists in Turkey.

Turkey reported its initial military fatality 3 days into its incursion into Syria. The defense ministry stated 3 other soldiers had been wounded, without the need of providing any specifics. Civilian casualties also had been reported in the Turkish-Syrian border area.

U.S. officials say an American military outpost in Kobane, in northeastern Syria has been evacuated immediately after Turkish artillery shells landed nearby.  The key U.S. base in Kobane was not impacted, and the officials stated they anticipate the evacuation of the outpost will be short-term.

NATO urged Turkey, an alliance member, to exercising restraint.

NATO Secretary Basic Jens Stoltenberg acknowledged Turkey’s genuine safety issues about the Syrian Kurdish fighters but warned that the offensive could “jeopardize” progress created against the Islamic State terror group that previously held territory in northern Syria.

Stoltenberg spoke at a news conference in Istanbul with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. Cavusoglu stated Turkey expects solidarity from NATO against the threats it faces.

“I am incredibly concerned by reports of civilian casualties on each sides of the border, and of huge numbers of persons moving inside Syria in the hope of avoiding the fighting,” stated Mark Lowcock, U.N. Below-Secretary-Basic for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief coordinator. He created the comments in a statement published Friday, the second day of a two-day take a look at to Ankara and the Turkish-Syrian border.

“I reiterate what the Secretary-Basic of the United Nations has stated: that we urge all parties to exercising restraint, to act in line with their obligations below the U.N. charter and international humanitarian law, to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria, and in certain to defend civilians and civilian infrastructure,” Lowcock stated.

Speaking to VOA Persian, SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali stated persons in northern Syria had been “frustrated and disappointed” that President Donald Trump withdrew dozens of U.S. troops that had been stationed in northern Syria earlier this week, shortly prior to Turkey launched the offensive. The troops had been aspect of a U.S. military deployment that has partnered with the SDF in the fight against IS.

“The United States did not quit the Turks from carrying out this offensive,” Bali stated.

Trump has stated he pulled out the U.S. troops since they had defeated IS and he did not want them to be caught up in an offensive that Ankara extended had threatened to carry out against Syrian Kurdish forces. His administration has strongly criticized the Turkish offensive and denied green-lighting it.